The Temperature of This Water by Ishle Yi Park
Ishle Park's debut collection of poetry heralds the arrival of an exciting, vital new voice in poetry. In The Temperature of This Water, Park samples the climates of Rikers Island and Cheju Island, New York and Korea, to present an unflinching, meticulously detailed view of lives cracked open as much by love as they are by overwork, violence and racism. Sharp street wit and a sensual attention to detail give vivid, palpable form to the lovers and criminals, mothers and gangsters who live behind the closed doors of New York immigrant life. Within each poem lies a story; within each story lies a whole community waiting to be uncovered. Whether tracing the paths of prisoners meeting girlfriends or Korean comfort women or .44s shot from rooftops in Brooklyn, Park's passion and uncompromising honesty lay bare the ruined heart of a city still pulsing with light.